Phone Message Transcript: July 4, 2002
[appearing on Anne's fan phone line]
"Hi, this is Anne Rice. It's July 4th, 2002, a gorgeous day in New Orleans. My mind is just sizzling. Don't think I don't know that I haven't lived up to the challenge of this message machine. I haven't left enough messages in the last year and a half. I find it very hard to come out here and speak extemporaneously into the machine. I feel that's over now and my mind is just sizzling with ideas. I can't tell you how much energy I have. And in these periods of high energy, I want to talk and I want to create.
I do have a new novel coming out in the fall. Let me answer that question right away. The name of it is "Blackwood Farm". It'll be published at the end of October. It's a vampire chronicle and it is all about a young vampire by the name of Quinn. It's his story and I hope he'll become a regular member of the vampire chronicles from here on. I hope you guys will like him. But I am already into my next book which I hope to have written before I go on tour. And again, my brain is just sizzling with ideas.
Of course I have been shocked by all kinds of current events. Who couldn't be shocked by 9-11. Who couldn't be torn apart by the spectacle of it. I saw it live on TV. It was incredible, it still is incredible. We're all still living through it. It seems to happen over and over and over again. I have been shocked by the pedophelia scandal in the Catholic church. I have been amazed reading the New York Times, to see this thing unfold. But for me what it has precipitated is a tremendous amount of reading about the church. I went back to the church in 1998. I was reconciled with the church and I did a kind of violence to my mind. Maybe a blessed violence, maybe a divine violence, but definitely a violence. I did a violence to my creativity. I have written two books since then, three books actually, "Merrick", "Blood and Gold" and "Blackwood Farm". But my mind is still undergoing some sort of Synthesis. And when the pedophelia scandal broke, what amazed me besides the suffering of the victims, the terrible suffering and the apologies that ought to be made and which have been made and should continue to be made, was also the fact that I just didn't know much about the contemporary church. And so I began reading. I have read the biography on Pope John Paul II. I have read the biography of Paul VI. I have ordered books on the Vatican II council and I have been studying my church and studying the theology and I have gone back to an idea which I had totally sacrificed.
I think after my tour this year I am going to write my autobiography of Jesus Christ. I think I see a way now to do that book. I had forsaken it when I was reconciled with the church. I felt too way cramped by dogma. I no longer feel that way. I feel a highly creative way to do this book. But it is not the book I am working on now. I am in Lestat's voice now
But I don't know where it will take me. It is a very free flowing book. "Blackwood Farm" is that way too. It's a highly energetic narrative. It takes place in Louisiana and it's kind of like "The Witching Hour" in that all kinds of family history is in it and all kinds of secrets and ghosts. And I just loved writing "Blackwood Farm". I wrote most of it at the beach and the light and the water have a tremendous effect on me. And when I'm at my beach condo I don't even go down to the sand. I just stay up there bathing in the light. I work all day on my book and then I go out and read the Bible on the deck and I know what many of you are thinking that probably this is the end of me as a sensuous writer and the end of me as a transgressive writer but I don't think that is true. I do think I will come out of the closet as a Catholic writer. But I think I'll come out as a radical Catholic writer and I am not sure yet what all that will mean.
Meantime, I am getting letters from you and I am getting phone messages and I like that. I like that very much and keep that up. And I will go on tour in the fall. I don't know the cities yet. They are not final but I certainly will be in New York. I'll have a signing of some sort in New Orleans, probably go to the West Coast, probably Los Angeles and I'll surely go to Miami. But beyond that I am not sure what else is going to happen.
I am going to try to give you more frequent messages. This message will of course will be transcribed by my assistant and will be put on www.annerice.com. Www.annerice.com has just been totally renovated by the Corbitts, that wonderful family that takes care of the site for us. And you are most welcome to tune in to www.annerice.com. Thanks to my cousin, Danny Manning, it's got that simple name, annerice.com. We wouldn't be able to get that name now. Danny set it up many years ago.
Anyway, I hope you guys are happy. All of you who are writing, keep the faith, keep the faith. I have been through some pretty dark periods since I went into that diabetic coma in 1998. By the way, it was right after I went back to the church, interestingly enough. It was like two weekends later that I went into the coma. But in any event, I have come out of those dark periods and the sun is shining again and I feel highly energetic. I love you all. I miss seeing you. Take care. Keep the faith. Bye Bye."